When it comes to famous watches, Omega has plenty under its belt. Yet, no Omega model comes close to the cachet of the Speedmaster – particularly those associated with space exploration. Today we’re digging into two modern Speedmaster models from Omega’s current Moonwatch collection. Join us for this Moonwatch matchup as we compare the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon vs. Grey Side of the Moon.
Design: Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon vs. Grey Side of the Moon
Omega first introduced the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon at Baselworld 2013 and followed it up with the Speedmaster Grey Side of the Moon in 2014. However, the two models we have here are later generation versions with their own enhancements: Speedmaster Grey Side of the Moon ref. 318.104.22.168.99.001 from 2016 and Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon 322.214.171.124.01.007 from 2018.
Both the Dark Side and the Grey Side sport 44.25mm ceramic cases, complete with a duo of chronograph pushers flanking the winding crown. As their names imply, the case of the Dark Side of the Moon is fashioned from brooding black ceramic while the Grey Side of the Moon features sleek gray ceramic – each color lending an entirely different style to their respective models. This is further compounded by the black ceramic bezel of the Dark Side compared to the Sedna gold (Omega’s proprietary rose gold alloy) and gray ceramic bezel of the Dark Side.
What’s more, although both Speedmasters have identical dial layouts – a duo of sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock accompanied by a date window at 6 o’clock – the looks are different thanks to their materials. The Dark Side houses a polished black ceramic dial with 18K white gold applied indexes while the Grey Side flaunts a striking meteorite dial with 18k Sedna gold applied indices and hands. Completing the look of each model is a black coated nylon fabric strap for the Dark Side and a gray leather strap for the Grey Side. Both bracelets are fitted with ceramic and titanium fold-over clasps in their respective colorways.
Overall, the Grey Side of the Moon Meteorite is a swankier approach to the Speedmaster compared to the sportier style of the Dark Side of the Moon.
Omega Co-Axial Caliber 9300
Both the Grey Side and the Dark Side Moonwatches include a transparent sapphire exhibition caseback for a view of the Omega Co-Axial Caliber 9300 movements inside the cases.
The Co-Axial Caliber 9300 is an in-house automatic chronograph movement that Omega introduced in 2011. Functions include the center hour and minute hands, the center chronograph hand, the 60-minute and 12-hour recorder at 3 o’clock, the small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock, and the date window at 6 o’clock. Caliber 9300 is fitted with Omega’s Co-Axial escapement, which differs structurally from traditional Swiss level escapements to provide less friction over time. Omega maintains that the reduction in friction means longer service intervals and ultimately results in a longer lasting watch.
The chronometer-certified, Co-Axial Caliber 9300 offers wearers a 60-hour power reserve and both models are water resistant to 50 meters.
Which One? Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon vs. Grey Side of the Moon
While Speedy purists will argue that these two models are not technically “Moonwatches” since they are not direct descendants of the Speedmaster Professional watches that were a part of the historic Lunar Landing in 1969, Omega does indeed house them in the modern Speedmaster Moonwatch lineup. Regardless of historical accuracy, what these two Speedmasters do offer is a contemporary take on Omega’s flagship Speedmaster chronograph with large cases, advanced materials like ceramic, and modern movements.
Over the years, there have been a few different versions of both the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon and Grey Side of the Moon. The most recent Dark Side of the Moon Speedmaster Apollo 8 – a tribute to the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 8 mission – features yellow highlights and a skeletonized movement that is engraved with a pattern that mirrors the surface of the moon. Additionally, Omega also makes a Speedmaster White side of the Moon, which swaps the dark ceramic of the other two models for a crisp white ceramic for both the case and bezel.
If you like your chronographs to be dark, stealth, and monochromatic, then the Dark Side of the Moon version would be your best bet. If however, you prefer your chronograph to be more luxurious and flashy, then the Grey Side of the Moon with rose gold and meteorite is a strong contender.
Which side are you on?